« AnteriorContinuar »
York. Hold, Warwick, seek thee out some other
chase, For I myself must hunt this deer to death?. War. Then, nobly, York; 'tis for a crown thou
fight'st.• As I intend, Clifford, to thrive to-day, It grieves my soul to leave thee unassaild.
[Exit WARWICK. Clif. What seest thou in me, York? why dost
thou pause? • York. With thy brave bearing should I be in love, • But that thou art so fast mine enemy. Clif. Nor should thy prowess want praise and
esteem, • But that 'tis shown ignobly, and in treason.
York. So let it help me now against thy sword, • As I in justice and true right express it!
Clif. My soul and body on the action both! — • York. A dreadful lay3!-address thee instantly.
[They fight, and CLIFFORD falls. • Clif. La fin couronne les æuvres.
[Dies* 2 This passage will remind the classical reader of Achilles' conduct in the twenty-second Iliad, v. 205, where he expresses his determination that Hector should fall by no other hand than his own.
3 A dreadful wager; a tremendous stake.
4 The author, in making Clifford fall by the hand of York, has departed from the truth of history, a practice not uncommon with him when he does his utmost to make his characters considerable. This circumstance, however, serves to prepare the reader or spectator for the vengeance afterwards taken by Clifford's son on York and Rutland. At the beginning of the third part of this drama the poet has forgot this circumstance, and there represents Clifford's death as it really happened :
• Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford, all abreast,
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.'
York. Thus war hath given thee peace, for thou
art still. • Peace with his soul, heaven, if it be thy will !
[Exit. Enter young CLIFFORD. * Y. Clif. Shame and confusion! all is on the rout: * Fear frames disorder, and disorder wounds * Where it should guard. O war, thou son of hell, * Whom angry heavens do make their minister, * Throw in the frozen bosoms of our part * Hot coals of vengeance! Let no soldier fly: * He that is truly dedicate to war, * Hath no self-love; nor he, that loves himself, * Hath not essentially, but by circumstance, * The name of valour.—0, let the vile world end,
[Seeing his dead Father. * And the premised 5 flames of the last day * Knit earth and heaven together! * Now let the general trumpet blow his blast, * Particularities and petty sounds * To cease6!—Wast thou ordain’d, dear father, * To lose thy youth in peace, and to achieve? * The silver livery of advised 8 age ; * And, in thy reverence 9, and thy chair-days, thus * To die in ruffian battle?—Even at this sight,
5 Premised is sent before their time. The sense is let the flames reserved for the last day be sent now.' 6 To cease is to stop, a verb active. So in Timon of Athens :
be not ceas'd
With slight denial.' 7 To achieve is to arrive at, or'accomplish. 8 i. e. circumspect, cautious. 9 In that period of life which is entitled to command rever
Reverenda canities. Shakspeare has used the word in the same manner in As You Like It, where Oộlando says to his brother (speaking of their father) thou art indeed nearer to his
* My heart is turn’d to stone: and, while 'tis mine, * It shall be stony. York not our old men spares; * No more will I their babes : tears virginal * Shall be to me even as the dew to fire; * And beauty, that the tyrant oft reclaims, * Shall to my flaming wrath be oil and flax. * Henceforth I will not have to do with pity: * Meet I an infant of the house of York, * Into as many gobbets will I cut it, * As wild Medea young Absyrtus did 10: * In cruelty will I seek out my fame. Come, thou new ruin of old Clifford's house;
[Taking up the Body. • As did Æneas old Anchises bear,
So bear I thee upon my manly shoulders : * But then Æneas bare a living load, * Nothing so heavy as these woes of mine. [Exit. Enter RICHARD PLANTAGENET and SOMERSET,
fighting, and SOMERSET is killed. Rich. So, lie thou there; • For, underneath an alehouse' paltry sign, The Castle in Saint Albans, Somerset Hath made the wizard famous in his death 11.
10 When Medea fied with Jason from Colchos, she murdered her brother Absyrtus, and cut his body into several pieces, that her father might be prevented for some time from pursuing her. See Ovid Trist. I. iii. El. 9:
divellit, divulsaque membra per agros
Dum legit extinctos, triste moretur iter.' 11 The death of Somerset here accomplishes that equivocal prediction of Jourdain the witch in the first act:
· Let him shun castles:
Than where castles mounted stand.' such equivocal predictions were much in vogue in early times,
* Sword, hold thy temper; heart, be wrathful still : * Priests pray for enemies, but princes kill. [Exit.
Alarums: Excursions. Enter KING HENRY, QUEEN
MARGARET, and Others, retreating. • Q. Mar. Away, my lord! you are slow; for
shame, away! * K. Hen. Can we outrun the heavens? good
fight, nor fly:
[Alarum afar off you
be ta’en, we then should see the bottom 13 * Of all our fortunes : but if we haply scape * (As well we may, if not through your neglect), * We shall to London get; where you are lov’d;
and the fall of many eminent persons is by the Chronicles represented as accomplishing them: being delivered in obscure terms, any fortuitous event was the more readily supposed to verify them.
12 This line, Steevens observes, may serve to countenance his emendation of a passage at the commencement of the third scene, Act iv. of Macbeth, where he proposed to read and wisdom is it to offer,' &c. See note on that passage.
13 This expression, the bottom of all our fortunes, is peculiarly Shakspeare's, he has it again in King Henry IV. Part 1.:
• The very bottom and the soul of hope,
Of all our fortunes.'
· Which sees into the bottom of my grief.' And in Measure for Measure :
• To look into the bottom of my place.'
* And where this breach, now in our fortunes made, May readily be stopp’d.
Enter young CLIFFORD. * Y. Cliff. But that my
heart's on future mischief set, * I would speak blasphemy ere bid you fly; * But fly you must; uncurable discomfit Reigns in the hearts of all our present parts
14. * Away, for your relief! and we will live * To see their day, and them our fortune give: Away, my lord, away!
SCENE III. Fields near Saint Albans.
Alarum: Retreat. Flourish; then enter YORK,
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, WARWICK, and Soldiers, with Drum and Colours.
· York. Of Salisbury, who can report of him; * That winter lion, who, in rage, forgets
Aged contusions and all brush of time 1 ; * And, like a gallant in the brow of youth”, * Repairs him with occasion ? this happy day * Is not itself, nor have we won one foot, * If Salisbury be lost. Rich.
My noble father · Three times to-day I holp him to his horse,
14 Parts may stand for parties; but I cannot help thinking that it is an error for party; by which, as Mr. Tyrwhitt and Steevens observe, the jingle of hearts and parts would be avoided.
1 Warburton would substitute' all bruise of time. But, as Steevens observes, ‘ the brush of time' is the gradual detrition of time. So in Timon of Athens :
one winter's brush. 2 i. e. the height of youth : the brow of a hill is its summit.